Voyage to Mars
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)
A journey to Mars will rival the journeys of Shackleton, Amundsen and Nansen, especially in terms of mission duration and isolation from sources of supply and assistance. Once in transit from Earth to Mars, the crew will have no re-supply and only limited resources and capabilities available to them to maintain and repair the vehicle. The International Space Station (ISS) is outfitted with a lifeboat to assure crew safety if a system failure occurs or astronaut illness warrants a return to Earth. but astronauts en-route to Mars will have no such luxury. Once the vehicle performs its trans-Mars insertion (TMI) burn, the crew is committed to a trajectory that will take them to the Red Planet, and support from Earth will be limited to communications and ground-based experience. But what exactly will a manned mission to Mars involve from the astronauts perspective? How will they live onboard the cramped spacecraft for four or more months? What will it be like to be isolated for several months, with little chance of return in the event of a malfunction? The answers to these questions form the content of this chapter which describes how a manned Mars mission will unfold, phase by phase (Table 9.1).
KeywordsInternational Space Station Landing Site Solar Proton Event Mars Mission Redundant Hardware
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